dorset chiapas solidarity

October 31, 2015

State Racism Condemns Mexican Indigenous to Prison and Poverty

Filed under: Indigenous — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 3:06 pm

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State Racism Condemns Mexican Indigenous to Prison and Poverty

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"Discrimination and racism permeate the state, institutions and society, when native people are perceived as needy, lacking, impotent," said Leticia Aparicio Soriano. | Photo: EFE

“Discrimination and racism permeate the state, institutions and society, when native people are perceived as needy, lacking, impotent,” said Leticia Aparicio Soriano. | Photo: EFE

Stereotypes in Mexico exclude indigenous people from developing policy to address their problems, rights activists say.

More than 8,000 indigenous people are serving sentences in Mexico’s state and federal prisons because of institutionalized racism, indigenous rights advocates said Tuesday.

At the conference “Indigenous Peoples: Social Disadvantages, Access to Rights and Justice,” various indigenous leaders convened to discuss the structural problems their people face in Mexico, home to nearly 16 million indigenous people.

“Discrimination and racism permeate the state, institutions and society,” said Leticia Aparicio Soriano from the National School of Social Work at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “Native people are perceived as needy, lacking, impotent,”

These forces of discrimination mean indigenous people are not considered social actors who can also propose, organize and develop public policies to protect and enhance their rights, Aparicio said.

The Mexican state’s unwillingness to shape policies in consultation with indigenous communities has produced higher levels of poverty and limited access to social services while keeping native languages unprotected, organizers mentioned, according to news agency Notimex.

In addition, the lack of judicial assistance, cultural sensitivity and due process has led to thousands of indigenous people serving sentences in judicial and federal prisons, explained Maria Amparo Gutierrez Reyes, legal representative of the Mexican Indigenous Women’s Network.
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/State-Racism-Condemns-Mexican-Indigenous-to-Prison-and-Poverty-20151027-0047.html

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